3 Kings xiv.
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. At. The Septuagint omit the 20 verses following. But Grabe’s edition has them marked with asterisks, (Haydock) as being supplied from Theodotion, &c. The Vatican copy gives a great part, with some circumstances which occur no where else, chap. xii. 24. (Calmet) — The wife of Jeroboam is there called Ano, (Menochius) the elder sister of the queen of Egypt, Thekemina. See chap. xi. 19; where Adad marries another sister. (Haydock) — Time. This expression does not determine the year. (St. Chrysostom, &c.) — The passage in the Vatican Septuagint seems to place this death before Jeroboam ascended the throne: but it took place rather at the end of his reign, ver. 14. Abia seems to have been his eldest son, and fit for command; so that the people mourn for him, which they would hardly have done for an infant. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. Dress. As if the prophet, who could dive into futurity, could be thus imposed upon. Jeroboam was aware that he would be full of indignation at the changes which had been introduced. He might also fear, lest his wife might be exposed to danger in (Calmet) or near (Haydock) the enemy’s country, (Calmet) and the people would have been more convinced of the vanity of their idols, if they had seen that it was necessary to have recourse to a prophet of the true God. (Menochius) — The mother might ask without the least suspicion, “Will my son recover?” — Silo might still be attached to the service of God, in consequence of the ark residing there so long, and the presence of the revered Ahias; so that, if it formed a part of the dominions of Israel, (Tirinus) as it was in the tribe of Ephraim, though nearer Jerusalem than Sichem, (Calmet) Jeroboam might reasonably fear lest his wife should be treated with indignity. (Tirinus)
Ver. 3. Cracknels. Hebrew nikkudim, “cakes full of holes,” &c., Josue ix. 12. (Calmet) — Septuagint give a double translation, “cakes and raisins.” Arabic, “fruits.” Syriac adds “dried.” It was customary to make presents to the prophets, 1 Kings ix. 7. (Calmet) — But these were mean, that the woman might not be known. (Du Hamel) — It is not said that Ahias deigned to receive them. (St. Jerome in Mic. iii.)
Ver. 4. Dim. Hebrew, “swelled,” &c. (Calmet) — Septuagint inform us that the prophet was 60 years old. (Haydock)
Ver. 6. Tidings. Hebrew, “I am a hard messenger to thee.” (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Strange gods; that is, foreign gods: which expression destroys the opinion of those who imagine that Jeroboam designed by his calves to worship the Lord God of Israel. (Challoner) — Back. Literally, “body.”
Ver. 10. Wall. Every male child, or every dog. See 1 Kings xxv. 22. (Haydock) — The Hebrew word mashtin, in Spanish and French, signifies a “shepherd’s dog.” — Israel. This proverbial expression signifies, that even those who keep at home, and meddle not with the affairs of war, will not escape; (Calmet) nor shall those who have run away from the field of battle, (Haydock) nor the most precious or contemptible things be spared, Deuteronomy xxxii. 36., and 4 Kings xiv. 26. (Menochius) — Clean. This family is compared to something most disgusting, (Haydock) because it had introduced idolatry, and the prediction against it was literally fulfilled by Baasa, (chap. xv. 29.; Tirinus) “as the vintner seeks in the vineyard even for the last grape.” (Syriac and Arabic)
Ver. 11. Devour. They shall have the burial of asses, Jeremias xxii. 19.
Ver. 13. Word from. Hebrew or “thought towards.” (Grotius) — He has entertained sentiments of piety (Calmet) in the midst of a wicked court; therefore, God will hasten to draw him out of the midst of iniquity. (Haydock) — The Rabbins say that he had pulled down the walls, which his father had built, to prevent the people from going to Jerusalem. (Calmet) — God was please to shew mercy to him. (Menochius)
Ver. 14. Time. Protestants, “But what? even now.” The young prince, (Haydock) who was the firmest support of the family, was presently hurried away. Abia, king of Juda, slew above 500,000 of Jeroboam’s subjects at once; and Baasa exterminated his family. (Calmet) — The latter had now begun his conspiracy. (Abulensis, q. 26.)
Ver. 15. Water. The kingdom of Israel was continually agitated with wars. — River Euphrates, by degrees. The kings of Assyria verified these predictions; and we know not what is become of these ten tribes. (Calmet) — To provoke. These people did not perhaps design (Haydock) to make God their enemy, no more than their king did, ver. 9. But their actions had that effect. Such expressions denote not the final cause, but the sequel of other facts, without direct intention. (Worthington) — Yet these sins might probably be called sins of malice. (Haydock) — They were all involved in ruin, because they had been accomplices in wickedness. (Menochius)
Ver. 16. Sin. This is the common effect of evil example in kings. Plus exemplo quàm peccato nocent. (Cicero, Leg. iii.) “As it is esteemed a sort of service to imitate the customs and vices of the king; they laid aside all piety, lest they might seem to upbraid the king with his impiety, if they should live in a virtuous manner.” (Lactantius v. 6.) The crimes of kings are seldom confined to their own persons. (Calmet)
Ver. 17. Thersa. Septuagint inform us that Jeroboam had built this place, which the call Sarira, while he was employed by Solomon. No wonder, therefore, that it is not mentioned by Josue. Its exact situation is not known, though it must have been very delightful, since Solomon compares the spouse to it. (Calmet) — Where we read sweet, (Canticle of Canticles vi. 3.) Hebrew has, “Thou art beautiful….as Thersa, and comely as Jerusalem.” Hither Jeroboam had removed his court from Sichem. (Tirinus) — Some place Thersa in the tribe of Manasses; (Adrichomius) others, in that of Ephraim. (Bonfrere) — House. Hebrew, “door,” or gate of the city, when the prophet had denounced that the child should die, (ver. 12.) unless the palace was contiguous to the walls. (Haydock)
Ver. 19. The book of the words of the days of the kings of Israel. This book, which is often mentioned in the Book of Kings, is long since lost. For as to the books of Paralipomenon, or Chronicles, (which the Hebrews call the words of the days) they were certainly written after the Book of Kings, since they frequently refer to them; (Challoner) and they also remit us to these journals for farther information. (Haydock)
Ver. 21. Forty. Some suspect there is a mistake, and that it should be twenty-one. See 1 Paralipomenon xxii. 5. (Grotius) (Du Hamel) — Hardouin dates from the æra of Solomon. Roboam was young, in the Scripture style. But he might be forty-one years old, chap. xii. 10. (Calmet) — Ammonitess. She probably perverted her son; (Menochius) so that he only continued three years faithful to the Lord; (2 Paralipomenon xi. 17.) when his people readily imitated the idolatry of Israel, as they had been already staggered in their faith by the conduct of Solomon. (Calmet)
Ver. 23. High hill. Such places of devotion had been tolerated, before the temple was built: but now they were deemed profane. (Calmet)
Ver. 24. The effeminate. Catamites, or men addicted to unnatural lust. (Challoner) — This crime had been punished in the Sodomites, and in the people of Chanaan, and of Benjamin. Yet they continued prevalent in the country, chap. xv. 12., and 4 Kings xxiii. 7., and Isaias ii. 6., and 2 Machabees iv. 12. (Calmet) — These were perpetrated in honour of Venus, Priapus, &c. (Menochius) See Deuteronomy xxiii. 17. (Haydock)
Ver. 25. Sesac. See chap. xi. 40. He was allied to Jeroboam, (Calmet) so that he might come to his assistance, (Haydock) being attracted by the ivory throne, (Rabbins) and the immense riches of Jeroboam. (Calmet) — Roboam was informed by Semeias, that resistance would be fruitless; and being humbled, he repaired more frequently to the temple, ver. 18. But his piety was of short duration, as it was influenced only by fear, 2 Paralipomenon xii. 14.
Ver. 27. Hand. Symmachus, “the place where the courtiers” (guards) stood, (Haydock) in the hall; (Calmet) or he made the guards carry these shields before him, ver. 28. (Haydock)
Ver. 30. Always. The two kingdoms were constantly divided, and did each other all the harm they could; though we know not that they ever came to a pitched battle. Roboam was too great a coward, 2 Paralipomenon xiii. 7.
Ver. 31. Roboam. He deserved some commendation for procuring provisions, and fortifying his dominions; (2 Paralipomenon xi. 5, 12.) but was a prince devoid of wisdom or religion. He married 18 wives and 60 concubines. The son of Maacha, his most favourite queen, succeeded him, after he had reigned seventeen years, and lived fifty-eight. (Calmet) — Semeias and Addo wrote his history, 2 Paralipomenon xii. 15.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Ahias prophesieth the destruction of the family of Jeroboam. He dieth, and is succeeded by his son Nadab. The king of Egypt taketh and pillageth Jerusalem. Roboam dieth, and his son Abiam succeedeth.
1 At that time Abia, the son of Jeroboam, fell sick.
2 And Jeroboam said to his wife: Arise, and change thy dress, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Silo, where Ahias, the prophet is, *who told me that I should reign over this people.
3 Take also with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a pot of honey, and go to him: for he will tell thee what shall become of this child.
4 Jeroboam’s wife did as he told her: and rising up, went to Silo, and came to the house of Ahias; but he could not see, for his eyes were dim by reason of his age.
5 And the Lord said to Ahias: Behold the wife of Jeroboam cometh in, to consult thee concerning her son, that is sick: thus and thus shalt thou speak to her. So when she was coming in, and made as if she were another woman,
6 Ahias heard the sound of her feet, coming in at the door, and said: Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam: why dost thou feign thyself to be another? But I am sent to thee with heavy tidings.
7 Go, and tell Jeroboam: Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: For as much as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel;
8 And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to thee, and thou hast not been as my servant, David, who kept my commandments, and followed me with all his heart, doing that which was well pleasing in my sight:
9 But hast done evil above all that were before thee, and hast made thee strange gods, and molten gods, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:
10 Therefore, behold I will bring evils upon the house of Jeroboam, and *will cut of from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up, and the last in Israel: and I will sweep away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as dung is swept away till all be clean.
11 Them that shall die of Jeroboam in the city, the dogs shall eat: and them that shall die in the field, the birds of the air shall devour: for the Lord hath spoken it.
12 Arise thou, therefore, and go to thy house: and when thy feet shall be entering into the city, the child shall die,
13 And all Israel shall mourn for him, and shall bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall be laid in a sepulchre, because in his regard there is found a good word from the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam.
14 And the Lord hath appointed himself a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam in this day, and in this time:
15 And the Lord God shall strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water: and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river: because they have made to themselves groves, to provoke the Lord.
16 And the Lord shall give up Israel for the sins of Jeroboam, who hath sinned, and made Israel to sin.
17 And the wife of Jeroboam arose, and departed, and came to Thersa: and when she was coming in to the threshold of the house, the child died,
18 And they buried him. And all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by the hand of his servant Ahias, the prophet.
19 And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he fought, and how he reigned, behold they are written in the Book of the words of the days of the kings of Israel.
20 And the days that Jeroboam reigned, were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers: and Nadab, his son, reigned in his stead.
21 *And Roboam, the son of Solomon, reigned in Juda: Roboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign: and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord chose out of all the tribes of Israel to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naama, an Ammonitess.
22 And Juda did evil in the sight of the Lord, and provoked him above all that their fathers had done, in their sins which they committed.
23 For they also built them altars, and statues, and groves, upon every high hill, and under every green tree:
24 There were also the effeminate in the land, and they did according to all the abominations of the people, whom the Lord had destroyed before the face of the children of Israel.
25 *And in the fifth year of the reign of Roboam, Sesac, king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem.
26 And he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the king’s treasures, and carried all off: as also the shields of gold which *Solomon had made:
27 And Roboam made shields of brass instead of them, and delivered them into the hand of the captains of the shield-bearers, and of them that kept watch before the gate of the king’s house.
28 And when the king went into the house of the Lord, they whose office it was to go before him, carried them: and afterwards they brought them back to the armoury of the shield-bearers.
29 Now the rest of the acts of Roboam, and all that he did, behold they are written in the Book of the words of the days of the kings of Juda.
30 And there was war between Roboam and Jeroboam always.
31 And Roboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with them, in the city of David: and his mother’s name was Naama, an Ammonitess: and Abiam, his son, reigned in his stead.
2: 3 Kings xi. 31.
10: 3 Kings xv. 29.
21: 2 Paralipomenon xii. 13.
25: Year of the World 3030.
26: 3 Kings x. 16.